Inquiry From a Crossword Purist

Dear Ilana,

My friend and I like to do the daily crosswords together. He will occasionally look up answers to the crossword and call it “assistive research.” I tell him that this is a severe moral and ethical violation of crossword puzzle protocol. He claims that if he Googles a clue, he usually reads a longer article to find the answer leading him to learn more about the subject. Please tell him that he is wrong to do this and his crossword privileges should be revoked.



Dear H,

It’s not about the destination but the journey. You complete crosswords with surface level answers; your friend, however, digs much deeper to find the truth. More importantly, he is learning so many new things along the way. Sure, his methods of crossword puzzle solving may be considered “unconventional,” but remember that they do not affect you. 

If his puzzling strategies offend and annoy you so much, I would suggest trying some mindful meditation exercises. Take a few deep breaths when you feel this frustration and incorporate forgiveness into your routine. It is clear that you hold an anger that stretches much further than your friend’s crossword puzzle habits. While he looks online for answers, try to look within yourself. 

Tepid Regards,

Ilana Tchaikovsky


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